By Md Amanullah, Muslim Mirror
Palestine, a mosaic of Worlds Abrahamic religion, holy to three religious group including Christianity, Islam and Judaism, land of Prophets, a strategic point where three continents meet has been bleeding since more than half-century. The conflict caused multiple catastrophic wars between Arab states and Israel in 1948, 1967, 1973 and struggle continues till now.
Palestine once again drew attention of the world when US president declared to move US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, an attempt to legitimise the illegal Israeli occupation of Jerusalem. However International community reacted vehemently in favour of Palestinian people which further alienated and embarrassed Superpower as well as Israel.
Occupation of Palestinian land by the Zionist through massacre, expulsion and Plunder – Israeli Palestinian conflict can be traced back to the emergence of the Zionist movement of the 19th century who wanted a “homeland” for all the Jews scattered across the world on the basis of Biblical theory “ Promised land” and “ God’s chosen people”. With the Balfour declaration of 1917, immigration of Zionist forces started in Palestine. Systematic expulsion of native Palestinians by Zionist militias began in the 1920s under British mandate, which reached its zenith after approval of two-state solution by UN in 1948.
Horrendous massacre, loot, plunder was inflicted upon hapless Palestinian civilians, which created fear anxiety and trauma among them. Around 7,50,000 Arab Palestinian out of 11 lakh of the total population were systematically expelled and made refugee by Zionist immigrants. This tragic incident was orchestrated by Israeli Zionist forces to change the demography of Palestine and create a purely Jewish state on occupied land with no place for “others’.
Debunking the Israeli propaganda.
In spite of all the horrific violence that has been committed by Zionist forces on Arab population, they blame Palestinian for aggression and violence, justifies their illegal occupation on the basis of half-baked theory like “ God’s chosen people” and “ original Inhabitants of the land” etc.
It is staggering to see how victims are depicted as oppressor and oppressor as Victims. Rampant propaganda is going on to demonize the victim while whitewashing the cruelty of Israeli immigrants. Consequently millions are subliminally falling to media orchestrated myth while truth ceases to exist.
The article is an attempt to debunk all the Israeli sponsored myth through historical proof and logical argument, that has been created to justify their illegal occupation of Palestine.
Myth 1- Israelis were original inhabitants of Palestine and ruled this land.
Reality –Jews continuously emphasize that they were original inhabitants and ruler of the land for centuries until some imperial forces expelled them out.
But according to known written history, earliest people who inhabited Palestinian land were not Jews but Cannanites, who came from Arabian peninsula during 2000 BC.
Another group was Philistines, on which the land has been named Palestine invaded the area and ruled it for the next 150 years, however, they too were assimilated by Cannanites society, losing their separate tribal Identity.
The Hebrews, ie the Jews invaded the land only in 1300 BC under the leadership of their Prophet Moses, however, faced stiff resistance from Cannanites and were eventually pushed back.
Jews successfully entered Palestine only under the leadership of Joshua, around 1260 BC. The successor of Joshua ruled the region for the next few centuries. It was only in 1000 BC, King David entered Jerusalem and King Solomon built the temple in 950 BC. The rule of Israelis lasted only for next 70 year after that it fell in the hand of Egyptians.
After a brief period of time, Isreal was again attacked and by Assyrians in 722 BC and Jerusalem was besieged by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in 583 BC. Conquering forces burnt down the temple of Solomon, destructed the Jewish power in the city and sent their leaders into captivity.
Under Persian rule, Jews were allowed to return Jerusalem and resided here as ordinary citizens while during all these upheavals culture and tradition of Cannanites dominated the region.
Finally, after Jewish insurrection against roman in 70 AD, they were expelled from Palestine and didn’t return up to late 19th century.
Hence it is clear from the historical facts that Jews were not the sole owner of the land but occasionally controlled the land just like any other imperialist power such as Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians etc.
On the other hand Cannanites, Ammorites people continued to inhabit the land sometime as local regional power. With the advent of Islam, majority of the Palestinian that consisted of Cannanites and Ammorites accepted Islam. The new faith was just extension of the old one with some additional code of conduct.
From the 7th century onwards, the land was inhabited by same Palestinian people under the banner of Islam and ruled by Muslim caliphate, first by Rashidun caliphate followed by Umayyads, Abbasids, Seljuks, and finally by Ottoman Turks to the end of 1st World War.
Recent Archaeological discoveries clearly proves that undeniable fact…
“ Recent archaeological discoveries have confirmed the ethnic relation between the people who lived there, in what is called fertile crescent, and the nomadic tribes of the Arabian peninsula. The peninsula ( Arabian peninsula) was the reservoir which supplied these countries with almost all their original inhabitants. The Arabs of modern Palestine are derived from the stock which, under various tribal names inhabited this region in Pre-historic times such as Amorites and Cannanites”(1).
Hence after analysing history its evident that Cannanites who came from Arabian peninsula were original Inhabitants of Palestine, they remain dominated throughout the history. The same cannanites and Ammorites of Arab ethnicity ( since they migrated from Arabian peninsula) constituted the majority of population throughout the ages.
Just because at some point in history, Jews ruled Palestine never means they have divine right to capture the land and claim their own by expelling their native population. According to this logic, Do the Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Turks have right to claim Palestine ?? As they too had ruled this land at the certain point in history. If not? then why only Jews have this privileges??
Hence Palestinian Arab is the legitimate owner of the Palestinian land by any logical rational and historical term. Biblical theory of “ Promised land” and “God’s Chosen people” was a plain myth that was constructed and propagated to rob the Palestinian people of their land, culture and history. It can’t or it will never justify the horrendous massacre and brutal expulsion of the entire population. Doing so would be the height of Insanity, abhorrence and gross injustice.
Myth 2 – Israeli -Palestinian conflict is a religious war between Jews and Muslims.
Israel Palestine conflict has been often portrayed as a war between Jews and Muslims, which is gross dissimulation of facts and injustice to the people who are fighting to liberate their land from Apartheid and tyrannical regime.
Involvement of religion in the conflict can’t be ignored due to the question of Jerusalem, a city holy to all Abrahamic religion, but basically, it is a struggle of political self- determination by Palestinians against Zionist European immigrants who captured Palestine by the virtue of military might and subjugated native population.
Throughout the history, Palestine had been land of different religious groups who co-existed with each other in peaceful harmony. According to the census of 1881, about 5,65,000 Arabs and 24,000 Jews were living in Palestine. 90% of total Arab population were Muslims and rest were Christians, which clearly reflects the multi-religious nature of Palestine.
The problem only arose after the Balfour declaration of 1917, after which European Zionist began to migrate to Palestine. With the passage of time, their number increased. In the 1920s, they began to occupy Palestinian land through force, treachery, fraud, and violence. All these created resentments in Arab population against European immigrants, which was very natural. Consequently, it laid the foundation of Israeli- Palestine conflict. By 1940s, militarisation of Jews reached its zenith. Paramilitary groups like The Hagane, Irgun, and Stern Gang membership reached up to 90,000.
After the approval of two state solution in 1947 by General Assembly, Zionist used all their military might to expel the Arab inhabitants of Palestine, razed their houses to the ground, burnt many villages, evacuated towns, brutal massacres were carried out throughout Palestine. Consequently, some 7,50,000 Arab Palestinian become refugee and Zionist occupied their land. In this way, State of Israel was formed on the grave of the Palestinian population.
Israeli occupation of Palestine was a just modern example of the way through which once European Coloniser stole the land of Australia, North America and eradicated their aboriginal population.
Hence, the struggle of Palestinians is the struggle of native people against the European immigrants. They are fighting for their political self -determination, just like once Asian and African countries fought against European Imperialist power to liberate their land.
In the words of the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi.
“Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same senses that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and Inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs…Surely it would be the crime against Humanity to reduce the Proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored partly or wholly as their national home…”
Myth 3 – UN unequivocally passed the two-state resolution which was binding on the respective party.
It’s true that Palestinian – Israeli conflict issue was passed to the UN by the British when they fail to control the situation. But UN never unequivocally accepted the partition plan, nor the partition plan was mandatory in nature which is explicitly clear from facts given below.
The question of the future government of Palestine was discussed in General Assembly during April- May 1947. The general assembly set up a UN special committee on Palestine ( UNSCOP), which submitted its report in Sept 1947. But the report didn’t unequivocally support two nation solution, rather than report was divided into two plan ie Majority and Minority Plan. According to the majority plan, Palestine was to be divided into two states which were supported by Canada, Czechoslovakia, Netherland, Sweden etc. On the other hand minority plan suggested to create a Federal state of Palestine consist of two states, one of Arabs and another one for Jews with considerable autonomy to states which was supported by Iran, India and Yugoslavia.
However, on November 29, 1947, General assembly voted in the favour of majority plan, recommended partition of Palestine.
But it is worth mentioning that General assembly resolutions are not binding on the member state, unlike Security Council resolution. Hence, It was just recommendation which didn’t create any state nor made partition mandatory. It was up to the member states whether to accept or discard the recommendation.
Myth 4 – Zionist captured Palestinian land only in self -defence during Arab Israel war of 1948.
Reality – In order to normalise and justify their heinous crime and unlawful occupation of Arab land Zionist created the myth that Palestinian land was occupied only after the War of 1948 in self -defence, and disseminated the myth through extensive propaganda machinery.
But in reality, Zionist had been occupying Palestinian land throughout the 1940s.The direct large-scale attack on Arab population intensified just after the approval of two state solution by UN. Jewish forces seized most of the Arab cities prior to the declaration of Israeli Independence ie even before the declaration of War by Arab states on the state of Israel. Arab states declared war on Israel on 6th may 1948, but Arab cities like “ Tiberius was occupied on 19th of April 1948, Haifa on 22nd of April 1948, Jaffa on 28th of April 1948, Arab quarters in new city of Jerusalem on April 30,”(2)
During the process, at least 33 massacres were carried out by the Israeli forces, most infamous among them was the massacre of Derra Yessin, where more than 300 people including women, children and new born were mercilessly slaughtered in a single stroke.
According to the chief delegate of the International Red Cross, who visited the site after brutal massacre described..
“ Three hundred person were massacred ….without any military reason or provocation of any kind, old men, Women, children, newly born were savagely assassinated with grenades and knives by Jewish troops of Irgun, perfectly under control and direction of their chiefs”.(3)
Finally, Arab states declared War on Israel to stop the massacre and to deal with the refugee crisis.
Hence it was rightly said, War didn’t create any refugee crisis but Refugee crisis created War.
“It would be truer to say that the refugees were the cause of first Arab- Israeli war and not the result”.(4)
The modern world has not witnessed such a complete expulsion of the almost entire nation who had been residing on their native land for thousands of years just on the basis of some Biblical theory.
It’s Irony that secular, rational world legitimised such religious biblical claim of invading forces to wipe out an entire nation.
Palestinians have been tortured, expelled, massacred, bombarded, made refugee on their own land, still they are struggling hard, fighting with their indomitable will, sacrificing their lives to find the rightful place in their own land.
Palestine should be and Palestine will be an Independent nation, but how and when that’s hidden in the womb of future.
- Reference- Book : Jerusalem ; Historic legal and political facts. P. N – 6. 3rd para.
- Ref – G.E Kirk, Op, Cit.,pp.262-266.
- Translation from Reynier, op.cit., p.213.
- Ref- See walid KhalidI ( 963) Why did the Palestinian leave? Arab league office, London.
- Ref – Book : The Palestine question. Pg- 152. 2nd para, 9th -14th lines.
- Ref- The Spectator, May 12, 1961.
Book- Palestine Re Emerging
Book: Jerusalem; Historical legal and political facts.
Book : The Palestinian question.
Article- A brief history of Arab- Israeli conflict ,by Jeremy Pressman.